Try to surprise them with every sentence.
Here's how I opened a scene in Astra:
"The suns on the horizon hung pale and cool, so low in the sky that the giant rocks of the Ni-Chee desert seemed almost to reach them. The rocks were watchful, looking down upon the ships of men that slept now in the desert. They were wondrous ships. They looked like slices of fallen sky; like moveable cities; but the rocks had seen cities before.
They knew this was not a country for cities. This was a country for sand. Sooner or later everything here turned to sand. Even the cities. Even the rocks. The rocks watched. They were waiting. They were learning how to die.
Dawn warmed the great desert of Phyrnos."
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)